It’s taken almost a year for me to realize I could have saved a lot of time if, right there on day one of assuming power of attorney, I had made multiple copies of all the documents that authorize me to make legal and financial decisions on my father’s behalf.
I wish someone had told me to make at least 20 (maybe 30) copies each of the powers of attorney, letters from Dad’s doctors, the trust abstract, etc. Then I could have had them all in a folder, clipped together – ready to grab and give to whomever needed them.
But, since no one told me (and I had no idea how many I would need), I ended up pulling out those documents and making copies one situation at a time: banks, insurance companies (life, medical, various vehicles), Medicare, Social Security, DMV, doctors . . . I kept thinking I was almost done, but then a new need would pop up, and I’d be at the copier again.
I figure that if it took ten minutes each time I got out those documents, fed them through the copier, then put away everything carefully again . . . Doing that 20 separate times means I spent 200 minutes (more than three hours!) standing in front of the copy machine.
If I had made 20 copies all at once, the whole thing would have taken maybe 30 minutes total, and I would have had an extra two and a half hours to do something else.
My advice: If you or someone you know ever ends up serving as a trustee or agent (power of attorney), make lots of copies, and use that extra time to enjoy a movie, a massage, a long walk or maybe a nap!